Scott Sontag hopes to improve library for kids, boost involvement

Scott Sontag hopes to improve library for kids, boost involvement
Scott Sontag of Great Neck is running for a seat on the Great Neck Library Board of Trustees. (Photo courtesy of Scott Sontag)

Scott Sontag said there was one main driver for his decision to try becoming a Great Neck Library board trustee.

“It’s mainly my kids,” Sontag, a father of four, said in an interview. “I really care about their futures and the town they’re going to grow up in.”

The Nominating Committee had endorsed Sontag, a project manager from Great Neck for Morgan Stanley, to run for the seat of Francine Ferrante Krupski and finish the remaining two years on her term back in July.

This puts him against Robert Schaufeld, the current board president, who is competing as an independent for that seat and hopes to see through numerous ongoing library projects.

Sontag said that he was surprised to see an independent challenge, but described it as a “positive” that will drive him to go out more, talk to more people and better understand what’s happening.

“I’m glad he’s running again… This is something that I think is a positive,” Sontag said. “I feel like it’s going to be something that definitely helps me also.”

Sontag said he supports the numerous programs and classes at the library, which offers an important role in fostering reading and literature, and that the library board is currently doing “a great job.”

Sometimes though, he said, there’s “not enough people there” and wants to talk with people about what could bring them to the library.

“I always go and say that the best two questions are ‘What you doing well?’ and ‘What can you do better?'”  Sontag said.

Sontag said he would be interested in fostering cross partnerships to get the community more involved and generate new ideas.

“I think just having those partnerships will spur new programs and I would like to see it organically grow,” Sontag, a cub scout leader and coach of a Great Neck soccer team, said.

In addition to his community involvement, Sontag said he would bring skills in project, budget, and resource management from his job as a software project manager.

He has also worked as a tutor, teaching assistant and lifeguard.

“But I think the most important skill that I’m bringing is passion,” Sontag said.

The Nominating Committee also selected David Zielenziger to run for Joel Marcus’ seat, where he faces a challenge from incumbent Chelsea Sassouni, Mimi Hu for Schaufeld’s seat and Trustee Josie Pizer to run for the seat vacated by Douglas Hwee following the board voting to terminate him for alleged misconduct.

The committee also nominated three people for Nominating Committee seats: Krupski for Howard Esterce’s seat, William Gens for Donald Panetta’s seat, and Alex Au for Samuel Gottlieb’s seat, which was vacated not long after his election last year.

Great Neck Library elections will take place on Monday, Oct. 29.

The election comes as the Great Neck Library’s Board of Trustees plans to move forward on a number of projects like a landscaping project for the main building, renovations in two branch libraries and upgrading the book collection.

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